The $30 million Navy SEAL flick Act of Valor ended up being in production for over two years, thanks to the frequently-busy schedule of its main cast, which is primarily composed of legitimate active-duty SEALS. Moviegoers will soon get to see the results of directors Mike "Mouse" McCoy and Scott Waugh's efforts when the actual film is released in theaters.
Today, we have a new TV spot for Act of Valor, as well as a five-minute long featurette that offers a better look at the overall filmmaking style of the project, along with the hazardous locations, up-to-date Navy technology/vehicles, and physically-exhausting combat maneuvers on display in the movie.
Act of Valor was scripted by Kurt Johnstad (300) and is reportedly based on several real-life incidents involving Navy SEALs. Those stories were thereafter reconstructed and tied together to form the film's central narrative, which follows the Bandito Platoon as it works in collaboration with the C.I.A. and sets out to stop a global terrorist plot that threatens to result in the coordinated killing of thousands of U.S. civilians.
As mentioned before, most of the Act of Valor cast members are actual SEALs. However, there are a few familiar faces (and voices) in the crowd, including Roselyn Sanchez (Rush Hour 2), Emilio Rivera (Sons of Anarchy), Nestor Serrano (24) and Call of Duty video game series voice actor Alex Veadov.
Check out the new Act of Valor TV spot and featurette below:
There's definitely an immediacy and immersive feel to the Act of Valor footage shown so far, what with the heavy amounts of handheld camerawork, first person POV shots, and the up-close-and-personal structure of the film in general. McCoy and Waugh are highly-experienced stunt coordinators whose skills in that area have clearly served them well with their directorial debut, allowing for some gritty explosive set pieces and terse battle sequences alike. Fortunately, it doesn't look like they've gone too overboard with the "shaky cam" or excessive editing as well - though, we won't know for certain until the actual movie is released.
As far as story beats and character development goes: Act of Valor, so far, seems pretty standard. Because of the nature of its narrative, there's a risk the film could feel very video game-like, with serviceable (if unremarkable) dramatic exchanges and character beats largely serving as the glue that connects each new mission undertaken by the Bandito Platoon. That won't be a problem for moviegoers who are just looking for a more accurate, but still stylized portrayal of military ops onscreen; however, those who are hoping for a richer exploration of the average Navy SEAL's mindset may walk away disappointed.
All that said: Act of Valor is clearly meant to be foremost a visceral documentary-style experience that effectively illustrates the nature of the SEAL lifestyle and shows just how difficult that job is, both emotionally and physically. So long as the movie can manage that task in a balanced fashion that simply reflects the true nature of Navy SEALs daily life (without either excessively glorifying or vilifying it) it should turn out well enough.
We will find out for certain when Act of Valor arrives in U.S. theaters on February 24th, 2012.